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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: We are the lucky ones  (Read 1428 times)
DivorcedNon
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Relationship status: Divorced July 2012
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« on: July 07, 2013, 02:00:52 PM »

I've been divorced from my ExBPDw over one year. I had zero contact with her for even longer period. It has been painful for me as it has been or still is for most of you. I come to this message board to learn more. There are many other pwBPD out there and I cannot lower my guard. I am grateful that my BPD radar is working well Smiling (click to insert in post)

We here are luckier than some other people who had BPD relationships. We have learned about BPD and BPD relationships. That is a huge step forward! Lots of people out there who have been in BPD relationships are totally unaware of that. They are wounded, confused and still do not know what hit them. One of those is my ex's ex fiancé who she left me for. She dumped him yet again after he left his wife and kids to be with her. Should I tell him? Not for one obvious reason Smiling (click to insert in post) The other is that people learn their lesson when they are ready. He is not!

We are also blessed that we do not have BPD.

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crystalclear
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 03:26:53 PM »

You sound like you have gained balance my friend. You are right, we are blessed and now have the opportunity to learn more and better ourselves for a healthier life ahead.

Cheers to you for posting this.
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Sparky2Blame?

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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2013, 04:15:35 PM »

I always assumed/felt that my ex had some deep seated issues... . just couldnt place my fingers on what exactly it was.

And although I cant personally be absolutely certain that its 100% BPD, she shares enough of the charateristics. Some comfort can be had.  I feel more certain then ever that I did everything I could to make a healthy relationship out of something that wasn't.

Wish I would have found this place a few years back, but I'm glad I found it now.

Knowing what to look for and understanding that I wasnt as black as I've been painted is something very usefully... . going forward.

*Cheers to knowledge*
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heartcoaster

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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 07:33:28 AM »

It took many months before I realized how lucky I am to be out of that relationship.  Like most, the good memories made for some really tough days.  Now I focus more on all the things that didn't work for us and I see just how many red flags I somehow ignored.  I still miss what we had, but each passing day makes it more clear that what we "had" wasn't a solid foundation - just a lot of smoke and mirrors, as well as self-sacrificing.
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 10:13:21 AM »

Hey DN, I, too, am grateful to be out of a BPD marriage of 16 years, the last three of which we were separated.  We were officially divorced a few months ago.  We are the lucky ones, hence my moniker.  The price is high for Nons remaining in a BPD relationship over the long haul and it nearly destroyed me.  Yet I'm still here and back on my path.  The challenges ahead are daunting, as I slowly recover emotionally, financially and physically from the BPD tsunami, yet I'm thankful for all the hard lessons learned and think I'm a better person for what I went through.

As for those suffering from BPD, like my Ex, it's far worse, I'm sure.

Thanks to all,

LuckyJim
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
heartcoaster

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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 10:26:38 AM »

"Everything happens for a reason" is a line I'd toss around to friends but really couldn't elaborate on.  In my BPD scenario, though, things played out like they should have.  Yes, it was painful and I played the "What if" game for awhile, but ultimately I see that I am freed from what can only be described as years of disillusionment.  I feel fortunate to be rebuilding myself little by little and finding out who I really am again because I believe so much of that was stripped from me.
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 10:35:21 AM »

So much is stripped from you in a BPD relationship, I agree, heartcoaster.

I lost touch with my friends, my family and ultimately myself, which is no fun, believe me.

To borrow a line, I found myself lost in a dark wood with no discernible path out of the forest, which is a harrowing experience.  It took a long time to find my way again, yet now I'm back on my path.  Thanks, Lucky Jim

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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
heartcoaster

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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 10:50:49 AM »

When my ex would say, "family is important", she meant "MY family is important."  She did everything she could to isolate me from mine and that was sad.  My family liked her and welcomed her into their home, was generous at the holidays, etc.  She had made her mind up about them, though, and I learned that any healthy relationship has to have at least some level of tolerance for in-laws.
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Octoberfest
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 12:12:02 PM »

I was just thinking today about all of the things my BPDex has done in her life at 22... .

Dated 30 year old drug dealers at 17

Been a stripper

Moved across the country with an abusive boyfriend

Left said boyfriend to go to rhode island alone

been with 30+ guys

etc

I can't believe the stuff she has put herself through... . how she can manage to wake up and go each day.  Makes me very sad
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“You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” - Winston Churchill
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heartcoaster

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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2013, 12:32:15 PM »

I was just thinking today about all of the things my BPDex has done in her life at 22... .

Dated 30 year old drug dealers at 17

Been a stripper

Moved across the country with an abusive boyfriend

Left said boyfriend to go to rhode island alone

been with 30+ guys

etc

I can't believe the stuff she has put herself through... . how she can manage to wake up and go each day.  Makes me very sad

Did your ex ever ask for help or suggest she had self-image problems?  I ask because there were those brief moments of clarity where mine would realize she was a walking train wreck and I had hope she'd turn things around.  I gave up understanding why that light bulb would only flicker for brief moments every year.

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Octoberfest
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2013, 12:47:32 PM »

I was just thinking today about all of the things my BPDex has done in her life at 22... .

Dated 30 year old drug dealers at 17

Been a stripper

Moved across the country with an abusive boyfriend

Left said boyfriend to go to rhode island alone

been with 30+ guys

etc

I can't believe the stuff she has put herself through... . how she can manage to wake up and go each day.  Makes me very sad

Did your ex ever ask for help or suggest she had self-image problems?  I ask because there were those brief moments of clarity where mine would realize she was a walking train wreck and I had hope she'd turn things around.  I gave up understanding why that light bulb would only flicker for brief moments every year.

She is a diagnosed BPD and has undergone neurofeedback therapy as well as in DBT.  She graduated group like a month ago i think.

It was hard because she was diagnosed, KNEW she wasn't healthy and was working to get better, yet the issues are SO DEEPLY ROOTED that they override her awareness of them.  It is tragic to see someone struggling, have them KNOW they are struggling, try to help them, and still have the struggle be too great.  It made it damn near impossible to walk away.
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“You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” - Winston Churchill
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Mutt
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Relationship status: Divorced Oct 2015
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2013, 08:22:54 PM »

Lots of people out there who have been in BPD relationships are totally unaware of that. They are wounded, confused and still do not know what hit them.

I had an 8 year relationship with my StbxuBPDw and I had no clue it was a mental illness. I knew something was wrong but not what. After she left a family member told me she's a BPD then my entire relationship. That person saved my life and the same with the support and stories from others on this board. When she left it was like a train hit me and all of the emotional garbage was thrown on me.
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Trick1004
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2013, 01:42:40 AM »

I think this is the biggest lesson I'm going to get out of this 4 year experience with my ex.

I knew something was off with her from the get-go, just so many red flags that she basically waved in my face from the very start. Yet I figured I could handle it and it would be different for us. Well it wasn't.

I am so glad after doing a bit of research towards the end of the relationship and TONS over the past 6 weeks since it's ended to have learned about BPD. It helps me knowing that I did everything I could and exhausted trying to make it work, but she is not an emotionally mature person. The failure of us is not a reflection on me or my efforts but rather a reflection on her illness.

I'm not mad at her at all. I want her to be happy, though I know she will just keep repeating this pattern over and over again if she doesn't get professional help. I feel sad for her and a angry at myself for spending the past 4 years with her.

Despite everything I do feel LUCKY having gone through and learned from this experience and know it will not will not happen again. It will only make me a better person in the long run and I guess for that I can thank her.
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2013, 10:08:29 AM »

Hey Trick,

Yet I figured I could handle it and it would be different for us. Well it wasn't.

Well said.  Haven't we all thought that we could figure it out, until we come to the realization that the disorder is far bigger and more complex than we might ever have imagined.

I like how you regard yourself as lucky to have gone through the experience and having learned from it, but will not allow it to happen again, which I think is the key for those of us on the Leaving Board.  I think it is onwards and upwards for you from here! 

Lucky Jim
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
momtara
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2013, 10:18:14 AM »

Good post, original poster.  I agree with you.  There is not enough awareness of BPD.  I think there are people who for years have no idea what the hell happened, and may never know.  It's really sad to have true love fall apart and not understand that there was a cause beyond your control. 

I wish I'd found out before my divorce started.  Maybe things wouldn't have changed completely, but I would have understood more about what was happening and how to handle it.  It still bothers me that two marriage counselors never mentioned it, even during the rare sessions when my husband admitted to all the behaviors.  Anyone who has ever heard of BPD would have recognized those behaviors!
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charred
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2013, 10:56:26 AM »

I spent over 20 yrs pining for my pwBPD... . not knowing they were BPD... . got her back and she made my life a living hell. I feel a bit foolish now for having believed much of the smoke she blew my way. Breaking up with your dream girl, being dumped by them... . doesn't sound lucky... . but when I think of what spending all those years in a r/s with her would have been like... . or worse yet, having kids with her, I realize that despite my not perceiving it correctly at the time... . I have been truly blessed.
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Trick1004
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2013, 01:36:31 AM »

I feel any experience no matter how painful, with the right perspective, can be a learning experience to make us into stronger, better people. After being on this board for awhile and reading others stories I realize that even after four years and my exBPD's best attempts she wasn't able to engulf me as she wanted to.

Towards the end of the relationship I actually thought things were getting better; her outbursts where happening less frequently and her general level of control over me was diminishing. I think she was finding out that her tactics were having less of an effect on me. When things started to get out of control I would talk to her until the point when she started pointing it back on me. I would then tell her "we should talk about this tomorrow when we have calmed down" and remove myself from the situation.

I think she thought she had one last tactic to play, to dump me. That was the "ace up her sleeve" to regain control over me. She was wrong.

When she played that card, I sat and listened to her while she cried until she told me she still wanted to live with me for the next four weeks until our lease was up. At that point I got up and left. I told her later that night there was no way I could do that, I would pay the last months rent, and she could move her stuff out while I was at work.

Over the next couple of weeks she wanted to keep meeting to talk about "landlord stuff and bills" and I just said "no, do what you need to about moving while I'm at work but I can't see you". She even left her portion of the last months rent in an envelope on the table until I wrote on it "You can take whatever you want of your rent back, but whatever is left is going into the collection basket at the Catholic church down the street." (I grew up Catholic)

Any guesses how much got in the collection basket?

It was the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. I don't remember much of the first couple weeks after she dumped me, It is all a haze. What little I do remember is she thought she could keep keeping me playing along, but I had reached my limit and just shut it down. I still haven't seen or talked (all our communication has been through notes, emails, and texts) since that night six weeks ago and I doubt I will want to in the future.

Sorry, that was a bit of rant but I do feel lucky. Lucky that I only spent four years going through this with her when it easily could have been much longer. Lucky that thanks to the people on this board sharing their stories and knowledge that I know I did all I could for this relationship and it wasn't my fault it ended. Lucky knowing that despite the heart wrenching pain (that everyone here has felt) I am able to move on and know that I will never let anyone treat me like that again.

Everyone, stay strong and keep moving on!

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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 12:00:50 PM »

Hey Trick1004, Sounds like you handled the detachment phase extremely well, without getting sucked back into the BPD quagmire through FOG (fear, obligation & guilt)!  Nicely done.  You set boundaries and stuck to them, which I find admirable.  It's painful, I know, yet you seem to be emerging from the other side of your suffering:

"I am able to move on and know that I will never let anyone treat me like that again."

Well said.  That sums it up.  Rock on, my friend,

Lucky Jim
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
Trick1004
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 10:05:34 PM »

Thanks Lucky Jim,

I appreciate the support. Got an email from the ex today after 9 days of NC asking how I was doing and that her friends wedding (she was maid of honor) she was supposed to be at this weekend got called off due to a no contact order issued by the police against the bride and groom (ya, these are some of her close friends).

Sent the email straight to the trash after reading it.
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momtara
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« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2013, 12:44:39 PM »

wow, wedding called off?  craziness all over!
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